With the prodigious output of wallpaper designs, colors and textures, the temptation – as a designer – is not to be limited to using wall coverings just to cover walls. I have been experimenting with many ways to take these gorgeous and varied works of art “off the wall”. I recently read an article in Design Sponge which confirmed my desire to apply wallpaper on so many surfaces. This piece was so popular, it was followed up by a post on the “Top 51 Wallpaper Sources“.Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 11.10.21 AM

Doing just a basic search of this phenomenon, lead me to a plethora of examples where designers and DIY’ers have been experimenting with this “off the wall” concept with stunning success. Below are some ideas found on Pinterest, Houzz, and Apartment Therapy – to name just a few – showing wallpaper flowing off the wall onto dressers, used as framed art, and applied as the backing for bookshelves. These applications create unusual and unexpected design elements in each of these spaces.

Working with great resources and craftspeople, allows me to take risks with new applications and be guaranteed an amazing outcome. I love the variety of wall coverings at Phillip Jeffries and Maya Romanoff. And, I have an amazing installer – David Jurgensen, Inc.  Some of my “off the wall” projects include:


The far left photo is custom shelving in a dining room with Christian LaCroix etched metallic wall covering on the back wall. In the middle, I applied a metallic woodgrain paper by Winfield Thybony Design at the back of the living room custom bookcases to highlight the objects on the shelves. And, the hutch of a classic colonial is covered in a Soane pineapple motif paper.


To create the feel of a modern cabin, I applied a wood veneer wall covering from Nobilis in a second floor den. The middle photo shows a custom tray that sits atop a leather ottoman in a family room which is backed in squares of metallic wallpaper. And, a custom credenza is updated with a crocodile wallpaper.

I think the best innovation in wallpaper is that it is back in style. There really is no substitute for covering walls with exquisite, rich material for any space. So for my “on the wall” applications, I use wall coverings to create a feature wall or all over patterns in a space.


Reflecting the purple painted walls, Osborne & Little‘s silver damask pattern paper allows this room to shine. On the inset in this formal powder room, we applied Cannon Bullock‘s hand-painted squares of wall covering to highlight the vanity area. And, in a girl’s room, the wall behind the bed is defined by the light blue and white hand painted chevron paper from Alpha Workshops.


Some spaces just call out to apply patterns to all the walls. These two rooms are vastly different in size but the use of all over wall covering enhances both spaces. The dark, glamorous bar/butler’s pantry becomes an enticing space to mix some of those Mad Men-esque cocktails with the dark paper accented with gold medallions by Sanderson. While Romo‘s shiny, geometric pattern on the wall covering in this bright, airy office with a high ceiling creates a space filled with energy.


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Don’t be afraid to be a little “off the wall” with wall coverings. The selection is vast and will add interest to any space you can think of!!!

Keep styling!